camping · cycling

Riding Solo, Part 1 (Guest Post)

by Julia Creet

I blame Cate Creede. She made it look so good, so easy. Just hop on your bike and go… wherever your legs will take you. No waiting for others, or trying to catch up. No discussions about decisions, where to go, when to stop, what to eat. Complete unstructured freedom.

That was the appeal. It seemed like a strange appeal after two years of more isolation than I could barely tolerate. Why chose then a trip on which I would mostly cycle alone?

I had an inkling that it would serve so many deep purposes for me. A chance for the wind to unravel the wired knots of my brain, cinched by two years of technology and teaching. Time to think through the decision to retire after twenty-five years of a full-on academic career.

And I needed new conversations. Riding alone would open my bubble to anyone who crossed my path. That felt exciting and random and the very opposite of my shrinking social circle and the rigid structures that were my scaffolding for surviving these strange last two years.

So here I am wandering around Nova Scotia, my home in my panniers, learning to crawl hills and stealth camp. I have some thoughts I’ll share along the way. Every material aspect of riding seems to have a metaphorical one as well. So thanks Cate. You said this to me early on in one of our chats about riding solo. “And for me there is something I really love about ending up in some random place with terrible food and knowing that I got there on my own.” You were right.

Julia Creet is a recovering academic who just wants to ride her bike.

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